He settled there noble Byzantine families who fled Constantinople and other parts of the Empire that fell to the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade.
Despite frictions with local inhabitants who tried in 1232 to expel the refugees, the latter were eventually successfully settled and Ioannina gained in both population and economic and political importance.
) within Greece, is the capital and largest city of the Ioannina regional unit and of Epirus, an administrative region in north-western Greece.
By 1416 Carlo I Tocco had managed to capture Arta as well, thereby reuniting the core of the old Epirote realm, and received recognition from both the Ottomans and the Byzantine emperor.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Pelagonia in 1259, much of Epirus was occupied by the Empire of Nicaea, and Ioannina was placed under siege.
Soon, however, the Epirote ruler Michael II Komnenos Doukas, aided by his younger son John I Doukas, managed to recover their capital of Arta and relieve Ioannina, evicting the Nicaeans from Epirus.
Following the assassination in 1318 of the last native ruler, Thomas I Komnenos Doukas, by his nephew Nicholas Orsini, the city refused to accept the latter and turned to the Byzantines for assistance.
On this occasion, Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos elevated the city to a metropolitan bishopric, and in 1319 issued a chrysobull conceding wide-ranging autonomy and various privileges and exemptions on its inhabitants.